CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

Sixteen-year-old Horsham golfer goes professional

PUBLISHED: 12:13 07 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:13 07 October 2014

Marco Penge

Marco Penge


Sixteen-year-old golfer Marco Penge, from Horsham, goes professional this year

Next year is crucial to the hopes and dreams of Marco Penge. If everything goes right for the 16-year-old golfer from Horsham, he will represent Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup match in September against the USA and then turn professional. After that, he hopes to emulate his hero Tiger Woods and slip on a green jacket at Augusta as the US Masters champion.

The Walker Cup, the amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup, is the ultimate for any aspiring British golfer with serious ambitions to play at the highest level and Marco is no different. “I’d just love to play in it. It really is a huge ambition of mine.” And his chances will have been considerably boosted by his outstanding performance at last month’s 
Boys Home International Championships in Scotland where he won five of his six matches and helped England notch up a notable triumph.

He has struck a lot of balls since he first visited a driving range to watch his Italian-born father, Angelo, try out the clubs given to him on his 40th birthday. A fairly decent golfer himself, Angelo immediately spotted the potential in his then five-year-old son and has been extremely supportive ever since.

Marco’s natural talent soon manifested itself and he rapidly got to grips with the game so many find fiendishly difficult. Ranked the third-best eight year old in Britain, he qualified for the Kids’ World Championship at famous Pinehurst in North Carolina where he finished 24th out of 117.

At the tender age of 10 he was selected to play for his club, Mannings Heath. Predictably, he won most of his matches. Weren’t his opponents a bit embarrassed to be beaten by a kid in short trousers? 
“Some took it better than others but, yes, a few were rather embarrassed.”

As he improved, the only thing that threatened a career in golf was football. Playing for Chesworth Rovers in Horsham, he scored an astonishing 75 goals in one season and was invited for trials with both Southampton and Reading. “For a while I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be a footballer or a golfer, but golf won through in the end.” With an Italian name and father, he admits to divided loyalties and confessed he supported Italy rather than England in the recent football World Cup.

But on the golf course, he’s firmly on England’s side and has represented this country at various levels and on more occasions than he can remember. A regular in the Sussex county team, he captured the Sussex Under-15 Championship an astonishing four times in a row. With a sideboard creaking under the weight of all the cups his son has won, Angelo must be contemplating constructing a modest extension to the family’s home just to accommodate them. Among the most prestigious is the Fairhaven Trophy, which attracts an international field of 18 year olds and under. Not only is Marco the reigning champion but he is also 
the only competitor to have won it in consecutive years.

Having left Forest school at the beginning of this year, Marco is now golfing full-time. When not playing in competitions, he practises at one or other of his two clubs, Goodwood and Worthing. Two years ago at the latter, he shot 65 in a tournament, the lowest score recorded on the course in 2012. Is that his lowest round ever? “No, I’ve shot 63 (eight under par) round Worthing in practice and my best competitive round was a seven-under- par 64 around Gullane in Scotland.”

Marco works very hard on his game, which is what Justin Rose urged him to do when the two met at Goodwood recently. Marco’s also met and chatted to Rory McIlroy and fellow Arsenal supporter Ian Poulter. His dream, of course, is to play regularly alongside them. With a handicap of +4 (which is four shots 
better than scratch) and an ability to drive the ball over 300 yards, there’s a very real chance he will.


Read on

Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf now open at Chichester Golf Club


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sussex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sussex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sussex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Mon, 12:33

This year marks the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s horror novel Frankenstein. Amanda Hodges explores its Sussex connections

Read more
Mon, 12:32

As giant snails take over Brighton and Hove between September and November 2018, Sally Turner speaks to an artist behind two distinctive snail designs about what inspired her creations

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Former Shoreham Labour candidate Sophie Cook discusses being the first transgender person to work in the Premier League, transitioning and her vision for the county

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Community groups and good causes across Brighton and Hove are being invited to bid for grants to put pride in our city

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Some of Sussex’s best known personalities have revealed in the magazine what they most love about the county. Here, we compile their stories, favourite restaurants, pubs, shops, views and places to visit

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Pagham Harbour has inspired photographer Richard Dunkley for 20 years. Ahead of a charity event he introduces his favourite shots

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search